Oscar Pistorius
Oscar Pistorius' defence team has filed a 40-page argument against state appeal to have him charged with Reeve Steenkamp's murder.Getty Images

Oscar Pistorius' defence team has filed a 40-page argument on 17 September contesting the state appeal to have the paralympian charged with murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. The 28-year-old had escaped murder charges when Pretoria High Court Judge Thokozile Masipa sentenced Pistorius to five years for the culpable homicide of Steenkamp.

In their arguments, Pistorius' defence team states prosecutors are raising an attack on the court's findings over a "failed case". Despite the prosecution arguing their appeal on the basis of the judge misinterpreting the law, the defence team says the law was interpreted in the correct manner.

According to the defence team, the prosecution failed to show that Pistorius had no "genuine subjective belief of danger" when he shot at Steenkamp four times through a locked door. Pistorius has maintained their was an intruder in his house on the night of the murder.

If found guilty of murder, the blade runner could face a prison term of at least 15 years. The appeal, which is scheduled for November, can also end with a re-trial, however the defence team has said in their argument that Pistorius cannot afford a new trial.

Pistorius' lawyer Barry Roux has said that if a new trial is set, public scrutiny will "contaminate and confuse" the objectivity of the rulings.

Pistorius was to be released from jail on 21 August on probation after serving 10 months of his five-year prison term, however South Africa's justice ministry ruled that he will not be released early.